Doesn’t mean you’re building a small business website you have to compromise on the quality of the web hosting service. Whether you’re operating small or big businesses online, you can’t afford to let your website go down often. My criteria in choosing a hosting provider is straightforward – uptime, customer support, control panel and speed. A few other options you can explore according to your specific needs which I will talk about later.UptimeI’m referring to server uptime, not network uptime. Servers form part of a network. And your website will be hosted on a server. That means, if the network fails, your hosting server will fail as well, but the failure of the server may not cause the entire network to go down. Get it?That said, find a company that promises at least 99.8% server uptime. Hosting companies can achieve 100% network uptime, but none can ever guarantee a 100% server uptime because server may need a reboot upon software / hardware upgrade. Keep in mind.Customer SupportA customer-oriented provider makes the best web hosting choice for all website owners. You need one that offers you technical support day and night round the clockwork, including weekend. If you notice something unusual about your website or it suddenly fails to load, you can instantly get support and resolve your issues without delay.Control PanelI ever used a web host that makes my blood boil every time I access its very unhandy control panel interface. If you want to manage your website like a breeze, look out for cPanel logo on the hosting company’s site. cPanel provides one of the best control panels for web hosting management.SpeedYour web page has to load as fast as it could to capture your web visitors. Failure to do so will send them away. A reliable web server not only keeps an excellent uptime record, but also handles page loading fast. Google takes this as one of its signals to rank a site.Linux or WindowsI would highly recommend Linux hosting for small business websites unless you know well about Windows-based hosting and you need it specifically for your business.Shared or VPSPreferably build your business from shared hosting plan first, then consider upgrading to VPS (virtual private server) or dedicated server hosting after your business picks up the momentum and requires greater demand for traffic bandwidth and web space.Last but not least, avoid companies that offer free hosting service because they have very limited resources in providing a robust server and technical support. Your small business will thrive only if you choose the best web hosting service.